Sunday, July 25, 2010


Thank you to everyone who kept me company for the past nine weeks as I tripped and stumbled along the blogosphere. It has truly been an eye-opening and at times therapeutic experience. When I wasn’t busy trying to document my own dribble it was fascinating to read the work of my peers. The question remains if I (or any of us) will continue to blog. And I sincerely hope we do but not at the cost of our vibrant lives.

"My life has been the poem I would have writ,
But I could not both live and utter it."

Saturday, July 24, 2010

56 Days and Counting

Friday, July 23, 2010

Pack Like an Egyptian

Yesterday, we happily decided it is time to head back to Egypt for a few weeks. Next month.
That means we have just a little over 30 days to:

  • Apply for and receive Siraj’s passport
  • Obtain travel visas for myself, Ismaeel, and Siraj
  • Double check everyone’s status re: travel shots
  • Review travel advice for Ismaeel & Siraj
  • Buy weather appropriate travel clothing and shoes for everyone
  • Buy enough formula, organic baby food, diapers, Pull-Ups, and wipes to last the entire trip
  • Buy a travel crib for Siraj and a portable DVD player for Ismaeel
  • Transition projects at work
  • Remove the old photos from my SD Card
  • Wax nostalgic about the wide angle lens for my camera that I still didn't buy
  • Upgrade our mobile data plans to allow for international roaming
  • Get Ismaeel one last haircut before we go
  • Pack, pack, and pack
As usual, it will be a hectic month ahead and I am considerably daunted to travel with a busy toddler and mobile infant but know that our family vacation is long overdue. We miss having breakfast together in our Cairo apartment and are already counting down the days until we can introduce little Siraj to all of his Egyptian family.
Wish us luck for a safe and sane flight!


Thursday, July 22, 2010

There is Such a Thing as Free Ice Cream

(Photo courtesy of anna29maria)

One of the many perks of living in NYC includes today’s serendipitous sighting of the Coach-branded Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream Truck at the corner of West Broadway and Prince Street. To promote the Coach Poppy Collection, the fashionably dressed trucks are offering gratis ice cream near flagship stores during 12pm-9pm thru July 25th. If I weren’t already fasting, I would have loved to grab an exclusive taste of Glam Cherry but it was still refreshing to watch my husband and Ismaeel enjoy their cones of chocolate on yet another long hot afternoon in Soho.

Thank you. You have no idea how much my boys needed this today. If my husband's fondly remembered but still sadly stolen limited edition watch hasn’t already told you; we are sincerely big fans. Consider a new wallet and pair of sunglasses to be in my near future.

Van Leeuwen,
I think you already know what you mean to us. We'll never wish that we could quit you... xoxoxo

Bite This

("Happy teeth, when your smiling" by Anthony Falbo)

The incisors are here! After suffering with swollen gums for the past few months, Baby Siraj finally woke up with two little jagged edges of white enamel as his official debut into the biting and chewing world.

Congratulations Siraj!

I spend a lot of time thinking about teeth. I have my own tea-stained set to clean and every once in a while, worry about grinding them which, of course, only causes me to gnarl and gnash them even more. Each morning and night, I help Ismaeel to brush his and plead with him to please stop eating the paste. And for little Siraj, I have been keeping frozen teething rings and biscuits at the ready fervently wondering when his will come.

So far, perfectly normal, right? Not quite. Something about teeth really freaks me out so these daily little moments of dental hygiene are just gateways to a casually obsessive netherworld of teeth neurosis. I am grateful that I had a cavity-free childhood but after a cleft palate repair, two teenage stints with braces, and a root canal (related not to an infected tooth but an unexplained abscess in my cheek bone) – I prefer to minimize the frequency of professional hands in my mouth. While it is not full on odontophobia, a dream about teeth breaking or falling out will haunt me for weeks. I find the idea of porcelain veneers, teeth jewelry, and custom hand-painted teeth tattoos horrifying. And don’t even get me started on knuckle dusters with three human teeth. Seriously.

I don’t really think I am alone. And even if I am, at least I can embrace my shortcomings and know I can never become a dentist. In the meantime, it is a delight to see Siraj bobbing up and down with his little twofers covered in droll.

I just pray I don’t spend the next few weeks having nightmares about my own.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sick Daze

I felt it brewing yesterday but tried to ignore it. Today, there is no denying it. A good ol’ fashioned summer fever and sinus infection have reacquainted me with despair and fatigue. Oh, if only I could embrace them.

For now, I’ll just let the room spin and my head throb to its own delirious beat. Until… Siraj cries himself awake, needing a clean diaper, and hungry for food. I ignore the pulsating sunlight and hold onto him while I stabilize myself against the side of his crib. Sometimes, if I am quiet and don’t turn on too many lights while I tend to him - he will promptly fall back to sleep. However, this soon became not one of those quiet dawns when Ismaeel cheerfully bellowed his own good mornings and urgent requests for apple juice and a cereal bar. Still in potty training reinforcement mode, I take Ismaeel to the bathroom while also holding Siraj. I am using all of my available energy to not fall down. Maybe I can use one of my lazy-no-good-mother cards and turn on the TV for them while I sneak back to bed. But this is Monday. There is no such thing as mercy.

I soon start packing and ironing all of our requisite items but the thought of coordinating pants and trouser socks for myself nearly put me over the edge. If nothing else, today is a flip-flop day. I email a note about my absence from work and finish packing the boys along their merry way. My husband touches my forehead confirming my (starting to slightly taper off) fever while Siraj and Ismaeel look bewildered that such a state prevents me from going with them. I wave my (still dizzy) goodbyes as they get into the elevator and bask in the quiet until I open my eyes and see the horror that used to be our home.

More cereal bar crumbs than usual have found their way into the fibers of our living room carpet. Apple juice and fingerprints have made an eerie and opaque fog on our glass coffee table. There are toys (that I didn’t even know the boys had) spilled throughout the floor. The kitchen counter is overflowing with pantry items that we bought over the weekend but didn’t yet put away. And most frightening of all, is the backlog of laundry (in desperate need of pre-treating) that might just swallow me alive.

I desperately wanted to sleep but knew the mess around me would only find a way to multiple during my slumber. And so, I started the laundry, scooped up the toys, sprinkled the carpets with deodorizer, wiped the table clean, and tackled the kitchen cupboards. In order to make space I needed to get rid of the older items in the back of the cabinets. I found myself throwing out more than a couple of boxes of expired brownie and cake mixes. Feeling like an inadequate and failed baker, I soon found myself trying to compensate by making a quick batch of orange halal jello for Ismaeel.

Somewhere throughout the day, the house got cleaned, I got showered, some schoolwork was finished, the boys were picked up from daycare, and I head out to my last class of the summer semester. My eyes are still bleary, it is nearly impossible to speak without coughing, and my whole body aches. What really bothers me most is wondering just when exactly is a good time to start taking care of myself.

For now, the answer seems to remain - not quite yet.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

49 Days and Counting

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Two Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

("Watermelon" by Claudia True)

Happy 8-Month Birthday Baby Siraj !!!

At 8 months, Baby Siraj smiles each time he wakes and proudly stands and squeals in his crib to be picked up. He is still committed to drinking 40 ounces a day in addition to downing a small bowl of cereal, a cup of yogurt, and a jar of pureed fruit. And of course, the occasional ice cube. The extra meals have finally enabled him to keep pants sized 6-12m on his still slender waist. And as for other milestones, we are all eagerly waiting for his bottom teeth to make an appearance. However, despite the noble efforts of his swollen gums and little flash of white peeking underneath - it looks like he won’t be able to claim the same 8 month birthday dental glory as his big brother.

My husband, exhausted from working late the night before, went to our bedroom to read the paper and fell asleep before even deciding which section to read. I turned off the bedroom light and went back to the living room to finish birthday celebrations with the boys. Something about July watermelon on a humid day seemed like a great idea. Something about the consequences of giving something so sweet to an infant and toddler before bedtime escaped my consciousness…

Let’s just say they loved it. Let’s just say even Siraj, the baby who craves consistency and complains if we deviate from his regular routine, was jumping and giggling with Ismaeel close to midnight. I was grateful my husband was so tired and couldn’t see or hear the mayhem of little Cheech and Chong. As I hurried to change the sheets on Ismaeel’s bed, being eager to sleep myself, I soon regretted passing out the watermelon to the sugar junkies. But only for a fleeting moment.

Who am I kidding? I am always tired. Why not just embrace this? And so, I let Ismaeel tumblesalt and belly flop on his mattress until his sides hurt from laughing. Siraj giggled to watch the toddler acrobatics and eventually toppled over in his own happy slumber. Ismaeel helped me clean up the kitchen and we grabbed his GloDoodle to practice his letters in the dark. I was about to draw Capital G and noticed that Ismaeel was already blissfully snoring away.

Bedtime was much later than usual but I think we all needed some respite from the usual nighttime parade of tears. I promise to hold on to this thought when tomorrow’s alarm sounds and we are all missing those extra moments of sleep.

Surely, laughter is more precious. Or so feebly say, the sleep-deprived…

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hunger Strikes

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim

Ramadan begins next month so a good thirty dates are ahead to make up the days of sawm (fasting) that I missed during my pregnancy with Siraj. As I continue to struggle through my ritual prayers, sawm is something that I easily embrace. While my non-Muslim friends and relatives may find it surprising that I will forego food and drink (even water) during dawn to dusk, I assuredly look forward to feeling the intensity of re-awakening my consciousness, deepening my appreciation, and purifying my spirituality.

And so, with today being my first day of fasting in more than a year, my throat is indeed parched and my stomach is undeniably rumbling but my mind is at last wonderfully clear. I don’t know how long it has been since I have stopped listening to my own consciousness. There is a clarity and solace in not occupying yourself with weighing the options for the next meal. I don’t need to second guess my cravings for espresso when I know deep down that I am a loyal tea drinker. The freedom from walking to pick up lunch lets me actually respond to my emails at a respectable clip instead. But it is about more than these mere conveniences.

I realize how much useless avoidance and procrastination snacking has allowed me. I laugh to think that suddenly my candy dish is shouldering all of the blame for my unfinished work. But seriously, towards mid-day I wasn’t even terribly hungry and yet I realize I would have ingested more calories than I can dare admit to here. All of those dietary indiscretions aren’t just about the additional weight I carry but are indicative of how often I don’t listen to myself. If I wasn’t hungry, why was I even eating? Why am I so quick to turn on Pandora and drown out my thoughts? What have I been feebly trying to avoid?

It feels good to enjoy the silence again. But I feel guilty to describe my hunger pains when I know there will be plenty of satisfying options for me come dusk. However, how much more painful is hunger when dusk doesn’t bring any relief?

And this is the crux where I stop hurrying about my life and blindly fulfilling my physical needs to start remembering what it is like to nourish my humanity.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

42 Days and Counting

Toddler Mojo

Regardless of the weather, the weekends are always full of chores. Luckily, today was particularly muggy and on the verge of thunderstorms so we didn’t feel as melancholy to be stuck indoors tending to our domesticity. But bad weather doesn’t absolve us of trying to prevent a good-ol’-fashioned-boredom-triggered-toddler-meltdown. After twenty or so “time-outs” – you figure no matter what is going on with the weather outside – it is now the perfect time to venture to the store to get some “fresh” NYC air.

Toddlers are elusive beings. In one breath they will declare pants unnecessary but to consider leaving the house without their blue velcro Adidas is simply unthinkable. In the spirit of leaving quickly, I playfully wrestle Ismaeel to replace his argyle jammies with carpenter jeans and reassure him that his flip-flops are perfectly fine for a trip to the market. In case the clouds burst into rain, I make him wear his windbreaker. However, he is more than perturbed that this covers his stained but forever beloved race car shirt. He may have cabin fever but he still reluctantly shuffles to the elevator and can’t help but pretend to be glued to the floor when we get to the lobby. The doorman teased him that I would leave him behind but he still wouldn’t budge. I call back that he can pick out a treat from the café and he soon comes running.

We head to Inatteso Cafe Casano and he forgoes his regular choice of a mini cupcake with chocolate ganache to have a fresh-from-the-oven cookie instead. The chocolate chips are soon melting in his hands and even before we leave the store he has a perfect toddler sized cookie beard. Now as a proud underwear-wearing member of society, he gallantly points out every piece of dog excrement along our path. “Mommy, watch out – someone pooped on the floor. That’s dis-gus-thing!” Though I have no explanation as to why the owners don’t clean up after their pets, I still try to reason that a dog doesn’t know how to use a toilet. This hardly seems to satisfy him as he quickly retorts why can’t they just wear diapers and mutters again “dis-gus-thing!”

After chasing each other through the tiny aisles in Gristedes and completing our shopping list, we went back towards home. To avoid the earlier messes of non-diaper-wearing dogs, we decide to lollygag by walking along the water on the South Cove. It wasn’t raining but you could feel the storm brewing nearby. The Hudson River was higher than usual and each wave was spilling onto the boardwalk. The troublesome clouds were darkened but the sun was still trying its damndest to shine through. So, all in all, it really wasn’t your picture postcard day. Nevertheless, my brooding inner poet begged to linger. But this was quickly silenced by the ever-so-practical-reminder of ice-cream soon to melt in my grocery bags. And, oh yeah, my blatant irresponsibility for letting my child be nearly exposed to the elements. Just imagine if he got wet on a summer day. What would the neighbors think !?! Then came along Ismaeel’s mojo…

Even when there are no cars around and he doesn’t have to, Ismaeel still enjoys holding my hand. I like to think it is simply because I am the one he loves most but the reality is he knows that to ask for something while caressing my thumb pretty much always guarantees a yes. And so, when he points to the bench about to be splashed by another choppy wave and says, “Mommy, it’s so nice. Let’s sit...” – I can’t really argue. I know my brown bags will likely tear if they get splashed once more. And I know our wet clothes will have to go straight in the laundry. But as we sit upon that not-so-dry bench, he flashes his china closet grin and tells me he loves me. Is there any greater sound? And all the while squeezing my hand, he snuggles in a little bit tighter, and says, “now let’s look for sharks!”

Sigh, so much love and excitement.

I really can’t think of any better reason than to let milk spoil in the sun…

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Guilty Thursday

From his lazy months in utero to his quiet newborn slumbers – Siraj has always been a sweet and gentle baby boy. Even as I texted (from my hospital bed) about his arrival - my first descriptions always included the words “kitten-like”. But this doesn’t mean that he isn’t a fierce and wily one too.

Each and every morning, Siraj fights me as I try to put a shirt over his head. Pants require me to practically kneel upon his chest to get him to stop rolling over. And please, don’t even ask me about socks or shoes. His little feet are actually two shades tanner than the rest of him because I don’t even bother anymore. He doesn’t cry and he doesn’t scream – he just wiggles and turns to the point you start considering just how necessary infant clothing even is. But I push onward and hold him down tight like I have captured some slippery little alligator. He giggles, Ismaeel guffaws, I sweat, and my husband watches the ticking clock. As Siraj gets a little more mobile - our morning routines take that much longer.

So, when I picked him up from daycare and saw a horrific bruise all over his tiny little wrist – I immediately blamed myself. What is wrong with me and how sleep deprived am I to hold him so tightly? How could I leave such a mark? Am I really this burned out? How did I not notice this in the morning? But wait…how could I hurt him like this and he didn’t even cry? Did he fall and is just bruising too easily? What could that mean? Why didn’t anybody else notice this? Of course, I asked if anything happened to him during the day but nobody saw or heard anything. There was no incident report to fill out so I can only assume this happened “on my watch”.

The whole thing just doesn’t make any sense. I keep re-playing the morning and can’t think of a single time that he could have been hurt. I know he didn’t have this bruise when I bathed him. I know no one would intentionally hurt him and with the exception of my rushed shower I was with Siraj the whole accident-free time. If you were to look at his purple and red wrist – you would think it was broken. And yet, he isn’t bothered when I touch it and is still happily crawling all over the place with full pressure on it.

I scoop him up (before he can hit his head on the glass coffee table) and apologize again for the thousandth time as I put him in his high chair. Even though I am sickened to my stomach I have become this oblivious bullying monster, I still need to make some dinner for Ismaeel.

Despite not having any teeth, Siraj is desperately hankering for food. As a compromise, I give him ice cubes in the mesh safety of a Sassy Teething Feeder. He loves this. He loves to hold it on his aching gums or to simply smash it against his food tray. And lately, he likes to throw it across the room with gusto. And just as my hands are covered in raw egg – he tosses it down to the floor and lets out a happy shriek for it to be returned. I call for Ismaeel to help and before Big Brother can decipher my directions – I catch Siraj taking matters into his own hands. Or should I say his bruised wrists...

Apparently his teething has gotten so bad he has taken to gnawing on his own wrist as if it was an ear of corn on the cob. Oh my poor suffering baby, you have no idea how relieved I am! What a wonderful day it is indeed when you find out that your infant son likes to give himself a hickie.

Phew! At least now my only crime is not having enough teething rings pre-chilled in the freezer. And now that I am not a delusional and abusive mother I can get back to focusing on my regular guilt list...

Monday, July 5, 2010

An Upright World

While everyone around us put on their bathing suits and headed towards the beach, my husband and I were more than happy to spend the day on our couch in the comforts of our AC. That’s not to say that a toddler and an infant let us spend any time relaxing. Still just the thought of lounging around in our pajamas seemed like a perfect way to savor the last bits of a long weekend. We aimed for some quiet cleaning of the house and our emails while we offered Ismaeel a Pixar movie marathon. Bored of his film collection, Ismaeel pleaded with me to Swiffer instead. While I can appreciate his offer, I can’t help but wish his aim under the couch were just a tad more efficient… And so the day was quickly filled with email filtering rules and household cleaning products. You would think it would be an uneventful day. You know, one not worth blogging about. But the boys always know how to keep things interesting.

Siraj refuses to believe he is 7 months old. While he can’t pronounce any recognizable words beyond “dada” and “hey”, he is more than capable of expressing himself in a hodge-podge of giggles, grunts, raspberries, shrieks, and squeals. He is starting to hold his own in territorial exchanges with Ismaeel and is putting away more food than his big brother could keep down at 1 year. So you would think we would see this coming. But we didn’t. And neither did our baby-proofing-to-do-list.

Today, Siraj decided crawling is for babies and started standing on his pipsqueak legs. I love my sweet baby boy dearly and in my big brown motherly eyes think he is absolutely gorgeous. But weighing in regularly at 10th percentile, Siraj is an itty-bitty one. With the exception of his long legs and mature face, Siraj is tiny enough to be easily mistaken for a 4 month-old. So even I find it disorienting and surreal to see his little thighs holding himself up. My husband even asks if Siraj could stunt his bone development by standing too early. But there he is - smiling and squealing away as he clutches and drools on the glass coffee table. The very same table that I just Windexed. And the very same table that Ismaeel held on to before he spun around and bit through his lip so badly that he needed half a dozen stitches at 13 months. Just as my husband and I start to panic about another accident waiting to happen – we laugh to remember that Siraj doesn’t have any teeth. But we still have plenty of wood floors and sharp corners to worry about. So we start panicking anyway…

We’re thrilled to see Siraj thriving but are completely overwhelmed that he has become so mobile so quickly. I have already spent a morning completely reassembling his high chair since his happy jumping for yogurt routine loosened all of the screws. And what good is a bouncer that holds nearly 30 pounds when at 15 he is able to turn around and use it as a springboard to propel himself towards the couch?

Not to mention, having a toddler in the house means toys with little pieces everywhere. So, should my husband become the LEGO-hunter while I frantically forage for leftover shipping materials to make styrofoam nests on the edges of our furniture? While we hurry to make things safer for Siraj should we ask Ismaeel to take over the cooking? He is after all doing a fairly decent job dusting. Sadly, Ismaeel can’t yet read recipes so we must embrace Siraj’s status as the second child and cling frantically to clichés that anything less than a baby proofed utopia will only make him stronger.

And so to continue our non-traditional celebration of the holiday weekend, we shunned thoughts of BBQ and ordered some Mexican takeout. There’s something about dipping a tortilla chip in guacamole to make you savor the last innocent moments of babyhood. Well maybe not. But we definitely savored the guacamole.

Welcome to the upright world, Siraj !!!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

35 Days and Counting

Home Disorganization

Due to a generous maternity leave policy at work - I was very eager to fulfill many items off my nesting to-do list. One of which was to organize the boys’ closet before Siraj’s arrival. Hmmm. Let’s see… Siraj is about to turn 8 months and I am still working on this. Perhaps I should re-think my project management skills.

In my defense, I think I have made considerable progress. I spent my last trimester assembling shelves and drawer units courtesy of West Elm’s Bergen line. I bought collapsible canvas storage boxes, transparent shoe bins, Baby Buddy Blue Size-It Closet Organizers, and even little infant-toddler sized wooden hangers. And yet my husband is still quick to point out that I can’t seem to get it together. Inside the clothes are intended to be sorted and there is a designated section for blankets and a month’s supply of baby wipes, infant diapers, and toddler Pull-Ups.

But this just isn’t enough. It comes down to having too much stuff. You would think having two boys should make things hand-me-down-easy but it is a bit daunting to manage and rotate the various clothing sizes. Ismaeel is wearing size 4T-5T and Siraj is still waffling between 3-6m and 6-12m clothing. For those of you unfamiliar with baby clothing, here is a list of the sizes I am busy sorting and holding on to: newborn, 0-3m, 3-6m, 6-12m, 12-18m, 18-24m, 2T, 3T, 4T, and 5T. As if 10 different sizes aren’t hairy enough, Big Brother was born in June while Little Brother came along in November so nearly every piece of Ismaeel’s clothing is now out-of-season for Siraj. Let’s just say Siraj is always fashionably layered.

So my current aim is to purge and donate anything “non-core” that doesn’t fit into the canvas box for that particular size. So anything stained, with too much pile, or worn out knees is out. However, this still leaves me with more than I should be keeping. I blame OxiClean for not leaving me with more soiled clothing. But seriously, why is this so hard? Why is it heart-wrenching to consider giving away their itsy-bitsy footie jammies? And so my inner-hoarder keeps trying to hold on to what should just be charitable goods.

Granted things are no longer an indistinguishable heap on the closet floor but if you look closely there are still micro-collections of laundry spill-over throughout the house. And so today was the perfect opportunity to avoid the NYC heat wave by hiding inside the air conditioned comforts of home organization. Ismaeel was very eager to “help” which created all sorts of new nap-less tantrums. Still I let him assist by throwing away an unnecessary collection of extra plastic hangers. But after a bit, we got hungry and decided the afternoon would be better spent cuddling over lunch and watching “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”.

In the meantime, the closet is still not quite Better Homes and Gardens perfect.

And to the boys’ closet, I say...

“I know. It’s not you, it’s me. I’m trying to make this right. I really am. Tomorrow, that is...”

Friday, July 2, 2010

Mourning Glory

For years, I worked in retail. Every two weeks, I would enjoy the thrills and late nights of setting up the visual displays and store windows with new merchandise. I knew the body details of each mannequin (whom ironically have plenty of their own “flaws”). And I couldn’t help but snicker at competitors’ windows filled with poorly styled, wrinkled, or minimally layered outfits. The following mornings would always be a flurry of markdowns and my employee discount was greatly appreciated. So, you can imagine when I left retail I had more clothes and shoes than I had occasions to wear them.

With my first “desk” job, I quickly lost some of the vanity that came along with trying to maintain my fashion sense and size zero figure. I was enthusiastically heading towards a new sense of practicality and professionalism. Some outfit choices started to fade entirely and I no longer feared the occasional chocolate malted milkshake (with a dill pickle on the side, of course). Still I tried to hold on to some of my hipster elements. I never left the house with less than three layers, my trousers were still crimson red, and my shoes were always at least four inches tall.

So, even though it would have been perfectly acceptable to wear sandals on a particularly sunny September morning – I was excited to wear a new pair of olive leather Kenneth Cole boots instead. I didn’t know planes would be crashing into towers or that I would need to walk nearly twelve miles back to Harlem. And I didn’t know my feet and ankles were covered in blood until my cousin told me.

Some days just rattle you to the core.

In the weeks that followed, I needed to work from home. I had just moved into my apartment so there were boxes everywhere. I found my desk and chair and left the television unplugged. I worked endlessly because there was no more commute. No mid-day urge to take a walk to the Square Dinner. And there was no rush to end the workday just to get back home. Horribly and lonely, I was already there.

The novelty of working in your pajamas fades quickly and I considered it an accomplishment to maintain a somewhat decent sense of basic personal hygiene. It was hard to look at some of the items in my closet. There were my stained boots and the many hangers of the frivolous. It is questionable whether it was a matter of respectful utility or simple laziness but I started to commit to a daily uniform of flip-flops, jeans, t-shirt, and cardigan sweater (note: only two layers).

And boy, did I commit. Shoes and socks became an artifice that I had absolutely no interest in. In fact, my current employer maintains a policy of “business appropriate attire” which means I can never ever wear my flip-flops to meetings (or even in my own office). In protest, I have been known to let my Halloween socks peak out from my shoes wildly and inappropriately during the off-season. The minute Friday becomes the weekend – I reach for my flip-flops and have them handy until Monday rears her ugly head.

Today, nearly ten years later, I finally said goodbye to those J-Crew skinny wedge flip-flops. Their plastic began to loosen to the point they would disassemble. Still, it felt odd to throw out a relic from my pre-marriage and pre-motherhood days. I begrudgingly started to cut the tag off my not-quite-identical replacement pair and realized I didn’t really want to wear them. While my habit may (or may not) have sprung from a place of depth - it would require only shallowness at this point to maintain it. Perhaps the time has finally come to reopen the closets and indulge in some frivolity…